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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Afghanistan”

The Ungoverned Land

In 1947, the British Raj bequeathed to the Muslims of India a tightly administered state. But next door Afghanistan couldn’t be called a normal state. It couldn’t prevent penetration of its territory and it couldn’t collect taxes. But the great proxy war in Afghanistan was approved by the West, fighting its decisive battle with the Soviet Union after the latter invaded Afghanistan in 1979.

Read Here – The Indian Express

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The US-China Cold War Is Now Playing Out In Pakistan

Are America and Pakistan finally breaking up? The short answer is no. As much as both states are fed up with each other, they remain far too co-dependent to simply walk away.  What we are seeing instead is a tough and protracted re-negotiation over the terms of the relationship. The question of Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan is not necessarily the hardest issue…The far bigger question… is what India and Pakistan’s role will be in the emerging cold war between the US and China.

Read Here – Defense One

Afghan Connection

China’s growing involvement in Afghanistan may also create tensions in the Sino-Pak relationship. Here’s the thing: China’s main goal in Afghanistan is ostensibly to keep the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) out, while Pakistan’s is to keep India out.

Read Here – Dawn

Clashing With Kabul

After becoming prime minister, Imran Khan received a goodwill message from the president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani. It read like a routine gesture, but both Kabul and Islamabad have reached a point in their deadlocked relationship where they want “real peace”, that is, for the Taliban to end their aggression.

Read Here – The Indian Express

Why Are People Who Live In Mountainous Regions Almost Impossible To Conquer?

On January 13, 1842, Assistant Surgeon William Brydon, bloodstained and exhausted , reached the British Fort at Jalalabad. When asked where the rest of the army was, he managed to reply “I am the Army.” Thus the British learned their 20,000-man army in Afghanistan had been wiped out. Though it is perhaps the most famous example of a Western army being defeated by a mountain people, it is certainly not the only one.

Read Here – The National Interest

Pakistan’s Terror Central

The tribal areas of Pakistan have been much in the news in the past decade and a half, following the US military intervention in Afghanistan after the 9/11 terror attacks. They were the “headquarters of terror”, with some of the most dreaded terror groups such as the Pakistan and Afghanistan Taliban, the al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network finding sanctuary in these areas and moving freely between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since 2014, Pakistan has launched at least two major operations — Zarb-e-Azb and the ongoing Radd-ul-Fasaad — to crack down on militant groups along Pakistan’s western border.

Read Here – The Indian Express

Pakistan Could Have Over 100 Nuclear Weapons (And Could Kill Millions in A War)

Experts believe Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile is steadily growing. In 1998, the stockpile was estimated at five to twenty-five devices, depending on how much enriched uranium each bomb required. Today Pakistan is estimated to have an arsenal of 110 to 130 nuclear bombs.

Read Here – The National Interest

The United States And Pakistan: Best Frenemies Forever?

The United States is once again ratcheting up the pressure on Pakistan to fall in line with U.S. policy in Afghanistan by ending the Afghan Taliban’s enjoyment of safe haven. Unsurprisingly, Pakistan is once again pushing back. Amid the mistrust, mutual recrimination, and stale narratives that have increasingly characterised the U.S.-Pakistan relationship in recent years, there is one Pakistani talking point heard routinely from officials that should be taken at face value: Pakistan does not intend to fight the Afghan war on Pakistani soil.

Read Here – The National Interest

Trump’s Flawed Pakistan Policy

For Trump, it may feel good to vent his frustrations about Pakistan, especially now that his administration is desperate to salvage something from the United States’ prolonged and losing conflict in Afghanistan. These new sanctions, however, are unlikely to influence Pakistani behaviour, which is rooted in realities on the ground that the United States has little ability to change.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

General Bajwa In His Labyrinth

Hand in the Haqqanis or hang on to them? That is the dilemma before the Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, so aptly summed by a Pakistani columnist for the Dawn newspaper. In the face of unexpected and significant pressure from the United States to deliver some top militants of the Taliban and the Haqqani Network, the generals in Rawalpindi are locked in a serious debate.

Read Here – The Indian Express

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